Dr Jung and Faust by Goethe. (An Appendix)

Faust und Mephisto im Kerker. Lithographie von Joseph Fay.

It was not planned, I must confess, to write any second part on this issue. But as I finished (almost!) my latest post, look here, I have noticed that I am missing the part in which Dr Jung refers to Goethe’s Faust. Therefore, I add some notes here and hope not to bore some of you.

Actually, we don’t have to be religious to enjoy such brilliant work. Just like the Goethe’s Faust or Dante’s Inferno, they are Masterworks.

What does Faust mean for Goethe?
Faust is chosen as a human prototype of the crown of creation as a demonstration object to show whether the creation succeeded in principle, as God and the angels believe, or completely failed, as Mephistopheles claims.

Second part. Third act.
Faust and Helena

Why does Faust make the pact with the devil?
The Lord (God) believes in the good in people – also in the good in Doctor Faust. Mephisto (the devil) made a bet with him that he could lead the scholar off the right path. This bet is reminiscent of the Job bet in the Old Testament.

(Although, I always have asked myself: What really is the purpose of religion? Isn’t it to show how the dark (devil) side is much more charming and appealing than the bright side?)

Second part. Second act.
Rocky bays of the Aegean Sea.
Sirens in the moonlight
“lying around on the cliffs, fluting and singing”.

Let’s now have a read on the master words of Dr Jung: From the very book reference, which I mentioned last time. “The relationships between the self (“I”) and the unconscious.” (Die Beziehungen zwischen dem Ich und dem Unbewussten.)

The Freudian theory of neuroses seems to provide a far better instrument for combating transmission. The dependency of the patient is explained as an infantile-sexual claim that takes the place of the sensible use of sexuality.
Adler’s theory grants an equal advantage, explaining the transference as an infantile power intention and a tendency towards security. Both approaches fit so well with the neurotic mentality that one can explain every case of neurosis with both theories simultaneously. This actually bizarre fact, which every impartial person has to confirm, can only be based on the fact that Freud’s infantile eroticism and Adler’s tendency towards power are one and the same thing, relatively unconcerned about the dispute of opinions between the Freudian and Adlerian schools. It is simply a piece of wild and initially uncontrollable, original instinctual nature that comes to light in the transference phenomenon. The archaic forms of fantasy that gradually reach the surface of consciousness are nothing but further evidence of this fact.”

Study room.
Mephistopheles ensnares Faust “with sweet dream figures.
Xylographische Anstalt Michael.

One could not say that this outcome would be “eo ipso” (of itself, on its own) a disaster for all people, then there are all too many who, because of their notorious unsuitability, thrive better in a rationalistic system than in freedom. The latter is one of the more difficult things. Those who can endure this outcome can say to themselves with Faust:

The earth is known enough to me,
the prospect over there has run away for us;
Gate, who directs his eyes there, blinking,
composes himself above clouds of his own kind!
He stands firm and looks around here;
This world is not mute to the able.
What does he need to wander into eternity!
What he recognizes can be grasped.
He walks along the earth day when ghosts spit,
he goes his way …
(Goethe; Faust ll, 5, act, midnight, in; works in ten volumes.)

This solution would be happy if one really succeeded in shaking off the unconscious to such an extent that one could also deprive it of its energy to the point of ineffectiveness.

And further:
It would, therefore, be a delusion to believe that one could finally wrench the Libido from the unconscious with some kind of magical theory or method, and thereby so to speak: switch it off. One can indulge in this illusion for a while, only to have to say with Faust one day:

Now the air is so full of such spit,
That nobody knows how to avoid him.
Even if one day clearly laughs at us sensibly,
The night entangles us in a web of dreams;
We return happy from the young hall,
A bird croaks; what is he croaking? Misfortune.
Obsessed with superstition early and late,
it is suitable, it shows, it warns.
And so intimidated we stand alone.
The gate creaks and nobody comes in …

“He who strives on and lives to strive, can earn redemption still”, declare Angels, who arrive as messengers of divine mercy, at the end of Act V. And ultimately, Faust goes to Heaven, for he loses only half of the bet.

angels strewing roses on the body of Faust, act V, Faust II, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In the end, I again add some text in the original, may some know German and enjoy reading it. 🙏🤗

Ein weit besseres Instrument zur Bekaempfung der Uebertragung scheint die Freud’sche Neurosentheorie zu gewaehren. Die Abhaengigkeit der Patienten wird als infanti-sexualler Anspruch erklaert, der anstelle der vernuenftigen Anwendung der Sexualitaet stehe.Einen gleichen Vorteil gewährt die Adler’sche Theorie, welsche die Uebertragung als eine infantile Machtabsicht und als Sjcherungstendenz erklaert. Beide Theorien passen so gut auf die neurotische Mentalitaet, dass man jeden Neurosenfall mit beiden Theorien zugleich erklaeren kann. Dies eigentlich sehr merkwuerdige Tatsache, die jeder Unvoreingenommene bestaetigen muss, kann nur auf dem Umstand beruhen, dass Freuds infantile Erotik und Adlers Machttendenz ein und dieselbe Sache sind, ganz unbekuemmert um den Streit der Meinungen zwischen der Freud’schen und der Adler’schen Schule. Es ist einfach ein Stueck unbeherrschter und zunaechst nicht beherrschbarer, urspruenglicher Triebnatur, die im Uebertragungsphaenomen zutage tritt. Die archaischen Phantasieformen, die allmaehlich die Bewusstseinsoberflaeche erreichen,sind nichts als ein weiterer Beweis fuer diese Tatsache.

Wer diesen Ausgang wohl ertragen kann, der darf sich mit Faust sagen; 

Der Erdenkreis ist mir genug bekannt,
Nach drüben ist die Aussicht uns verrannt;
Tor,wer dorthin die Augen blinzelnd richtet,
Sich über Wolken seinesgleichen dichtet!
Er stehe fest und sehe hier sich um;
Dem Tüchtigen ist diese Welt nicht stumm.
Was braucht er in die Ewigkeit zu schweifen!
Was er erkennt, lässt sich ergreifen.
Er wandle so den Erdentag entlang,
Wenn Geister spucken,
geh’ er seinen Gang…
(Goethe; Faust ll, 5,Akt, Mitternacht, in; Werke in zehn Bänden.)

Diese Lösung wäre glücklich, wenn es einem wirklich gelänge, das Unbewusste dermaßen abzuschütteln, dass man ihm auch die Energie bis zur Unwirksamkeit entziehen könnte.

Und weiter: Es wäre daher eine Täuschung, wenn man glaubt, man könnte mit irgendeiner sozusagen magischen Theorie oder Methode dem Unbewussten endgültig die Libido entreißen und es dadurch gewissermaßen ausschalten. Man kann sich dieser Illusion für einige Zeit hingeben, um eines Tages mit Faust sagen zu müssen:
Nun ist die Luft von solchem Spuck so voll,
Dass nimand weiß,wie er ihn meiden soll.
Wenn auch ein Tag uns klar vernünftig lacht,
In Traumgespinst verwickelt uns die Nacht;
Wir kehren froh von junger Flur zurück,
Ein Vogel krächzt; was krächzt er? Mißgeschick.
Von Aberglauben früh und spat umgarnt,
es eignet sich, es zeigt sich an, es warnt.
Und so verschüchtert stehen wir allein.
Die Pforte knarrt, und niemand kommt herein…

6 thoughts on “Dr Jung and Faust by Goethe. (An Appendix)

  1. This is fascinating Aladin! A great selection of words and images, perfectly balanced. Thank you for sharing this second part. I will eventually reach ‘Faust’ at some point in my reading life! And then I’ll be onto those essays written by Jung about this epic story. The biblical story of Job fascinates me too, as it did Jung. Thankfully, I’ve waited until now when being online makes it all so much more accessible. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Love and light, Deborah.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. elainemansfield

    Beautiful images, Aladin, and like many others, I honor the power of your language skills. I have not read Faust but perhaps someday. I took a class on ‘Answer to Job’ and learned a lot but that was many years ago and I would benefit from reading it again. Thanks for your hard work and for trying to explain these mystical and difficult ideas to readers like me. The Unconscious is where I find my creativity and where I’m corrected for mistaken views, so I encourage it rather than distancing myself. Best to you as the nights grow longer. More time for dreaming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dear Elaine, your words are my lectures, and they are worth inspiration for me. I always will take them into my heart. And yes: the longer nights are coming and the good times to read more. Keep safe and well, my adorable friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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